Our students in the Higher Education Administration master's program are required to fulfill practicum and internship requirements. Learn more below about some of our students' experiences from this past summer.
Karla Coleman had an internship with Conexión Américas, a non-profit organization housed within Casa Azafrán, specifically with youth development programs, one of which is the Escalera Program. The Escalera Program is a nationally implemented college and career readiness curriculum developed by the National Council of La Raza (NCLR). Escalera works with first-generation college-bound juniors and seniors at Glencliff High School. Through weekly afterschool meetings the Escalera program works with students on applying to college with the goal of having each student complete an 80-hour summer internship, apply to at least 3 colleges and universities, and enroll in one. Karla's work involved improving the curriculum for the school year and adding culturally competent activities. She worked with Glencliff counselors and administrators to identify and recruit low-achieving students who otherwise would not self-select into the program, with the goal of diversifying the cohort.
Alyson Farzad had the opportunity to work last summer with the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center seeking to initiate positive change for women on Vanderbilt’s campus. While the students were off for the summer, MCWC was busy creating new programing for the upcoming school year. Alyson had the opportunity to work on the program proposal for the Vanderbilt Imperfection Project, to start a catalogue of internship locations pertaining to women and gender issues, and to benchmark an upcoming graduate student program.
Beth Hesse worked in Student Activities at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), specifically helping plan and coordinate orientation and upcoming retreats and fall programming with their student activities programming board (SAPB). She assisted the SAPB director of campus traditions in overseeing the planning and implementation of a large scale concert at the beginning of the fall 2015 semester; provided oversight and management related to finances, student involvement, risk management, and marketing; and provided assistance with the planning of fall 2015 Weeks of Welcome events. Additionally, she developed online training modules for the general SAPB membership, coordinated SAPB orientation activities, and provided assistance with assessment by developing data collection strategies and implementing an assessment plan.
Kendall Hook worked at the University of Texas at Arlington last summer with the Associate Directors of Residential Education in the Apartment and Residence Life Office. She conducted research on residential education, worked on re-designing websites, participated in trainings, and helped with graphic design. One of the highlights was participating in a couple of one-day conferences - one at Texas Tech University for interns across the state, and the other, a mock student-affairs interview day at TCU. She learned so much about residential life and had a great experience networking with people from across several Texas institutions.
Justin Hua served as a Conference Coordinator, supervising seven student Conference Assistants; working with summer conference sponsors, guests, and campus partners; and completing a number of administrative tasks within the Office of Conference Services. These included serving on-call for weeks throughout the summer and facilitating staff development activities. Justin developed professional/transferable skills, sharpened his managerial/supervisory skillset, and received a taste of serving as the on-call point of contact.
Katy Lucci worked at the University of Notre Dame as the undergraduate hall director for their women's halls. She trained, supervised, and advised the residence hall staff and hall managers. She also worked on projects for the Office of Housing including various events, activities, and multicultural competency workshops for summer hall staff.
Christopher Ryan Marve participated in a summer practicum experience in the Vanderbilt Football Office of Player Personnel (Recruiting). Working directly with the Director of Player Personnel, he developed a significant amount of professional competencies including evaluating athletic talent of potential student athletes and recruiting ideologies to most effectively market specific institutions. As a budding college coach or college sports administrator, he was glad to gain "ground level" experience to learn about the mechanisms in which the procurement of the foundation of college sports rests--the student athletes.
Sarah Muren worked with Musicians Corner (MC), a music festival that occurs weekly each spring and fall in Centennial Park in Nashville, TN. She joined the MC intern team for their spring season as the Artist Hospitality Intern where she worked backstage as the first point of contact for all artists upon their arrival. Beyond being a day-of information source for the musicians, she also wrote and proofread the master script for the event in the days preceding. Sarah learned about event management, including managing volunteers, taking care of partners and vendors, and paying attention to diversity and inclusion in logistic preparations. Her area of interest within Higher Education is Student Activities (specifically campus concerts), so she found this internship meaningful in that it grew her skill set in programming beyond the walls of academe in a way that is easily transferrable back to campus events.
Taylor Odle served as the graduate intern for higher education and public policy with the Washington, D.C. team. Reporting directly to the Vice President for Policy and Analysis and working closely with the Senior Directors of Policy and Advocacy and Higher Education and Financial Aid, as well as the Executive Director of Policy Research, Taylor engaged with higher education policy matters, specifically the FAFSA and Pell Grant initiatives of The College Board, projects related to increasing post-secondary access and success to underrepresented students, and experimental and quasi-experimental intervention analyses.
Melina Prentakis worked in the Office of Residence Life at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ. She served in the pro-staff duty rotation and supervised RAs in the office. She also did various projects for the Area Coordinators including programming model research and preparation for RA training.
Natalie Richardson fulfilled numerous practica experiences. She served as a Research Intern in the Office of the Provost at Vanderbilt University, researching, benchmarking, and providing detailed reports on top priority initiatives for the provost. Additionally, she was an academic coach in the Growth & Purpose for Students (GPS) office at Belmont University, providing goal-oriented academic and personal coaching to students. Lastly, she was an Alumna In Residence for NEW Leadership Illinois, serving as a live-in mentor, teaching values and facilitating meaningful discussions for college women.
Evan Vaughn interned at Baylor University in Waco, Texas as an Assistant Hall Director. For his position, he oversaw the two buildings that housed the summer school student population. From supervising his own staff of RAs, to opening and closing buildings, creating a programming model, and more, Evan got to experience firsthand what it’s really like to be a hall director.